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When you’re writing a CV, you should know that a hiring manager only scans most CVs. If they have to go through dozens of CVs every day, then they don’t have time to fully read every CV that every person turns in. They’re glancing through sections, skimming the work history and relevant skills, and likely moving on to the next CV. That’s where a CV introduction comes into play. A CV introduction can make your hiring manager more likely to stop and read your whole CV, allowing you to argue more effectively for the new job.
A CV introduction is a short piece of information at the very top of your CV that helps you showcase the key elements of your career path. It intends to make recruiters stop and give your job application a closer look. That’s why you need to load it with the most eye-catching achievements, competencies, and skills. An introduction only showcases what you absolutely excel in, and it can turn a good CV into a great one.
There are typically three different types of CV introductions that job seekers can use to show off their skill set:
The first type of CV introduction is the professional summary. A CV summary goes over your relevant experience, qualifications, and how you’ve benefited companies in a specific position. It’s most commonly used when you’ve already had some experience, and it highlights specific career achievements and skills. As the name implies, it is a summary statement, summarizing what you’ve already done and allowing that to speak to what you could do in the future.
While a professional CV summary goes over the professional experience you already have, a CV objective states where you hope to go with your career. This introduction highlights your academic background, skills, and career objective rather than your work experience. Typically, this is used when you don’t have much experience and are looking for an entry-level job. Recently-graduated students, especially students who work in fields like healthcare where lots of education is required before working, can use a career objective.
A summary of qualifications, also called a qualifications summary, showcases your skills and certifications, typically through bullet points. It attempts to align your certifications and work highlights closely with the job description, typically providing three to five bullet points rather than the two to three sentences that you might see in a professional CV summary or objective statement. It can be helpful for people going through a career change where your experience section isn’t extremely relevant, but you have many relevant qualifications.
The best thing you can do to write a great CV introduction is write the rest of your CV and cover letter before you write the introduction. The CV builder at CVHelp can help you find a great CV template to use, and give you suggestions on how to enter the right information about your skills and past work history. From there, you can glean the best few achievements and abilities that match the job requirements, and include them in your CV introduction.
It’s also important that you showcase the best achievement for a specific job. This is the single greatest achievement you have, the achievement that makes a hiring manager notice you and read through your entire CV. Again, it’s best to write your entire CV and then see where you think your skills have really shined in a previous job.
Lastly, a strong CV introduction is short, snappy, and concise. You want to use action words to sell yourself effectively. Avoid using “I” statements; cut them out, saying “Managed 100 team members” instead of “I managed 100 team members.” Our CV examples include CV introduction examples that you can use as a foundation for your own.
The best hook for your CV, regardless of your CV format, will always be your absolute best achievement. Were you a product manager on a $150,000 project? Make that your hook. Did you work in human resources and process over 1,000 requests? Start your introduction with that fact. You need to include whatever will make an interviewer stop and stare.
Yes. Not only are CV introductions fairly short, which means they should take only a few minutes for each introduction, but also personalizing the introduction for each job posting means that you can send the right message with each CV. The professional CV that you send in for one job is not always the best CV for another, and personalising your introduction helps you ensure that it’s always the best one.
You typically need between two to four achievements for your CV introduction. This is enough for you to showcase why your job search should end here, and a hiring manager should immediately pick you out for a job interview. Any more than that, and you’re likely to lose the snappiness of the introduction.
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